Heartfelt Artistry

The Influential Women in Music series continues with two soulful artists.


Ella Fitzgerald - Queen of Jazz

Born in Newport News, Virginia in 1917, Ella Fitzgerald was an American jazz singer who has gone by various names such as Queen of Jazz and First Lady of Song. Fitzgerald was known to have a diverse voice as she was able to move between singing “sultry ballads, sweet jazz and imitate every instrument in the orchestra.” Ella Fitzgerald won 13 Grammys and would sell over 40 million records. Fitzgerald released her first album Ella Sings Gershwin, now called Pure Ella, in 1950. In 1987, she received the National Medal of Art by President Ronald Reagan. Fitzgerald passed away on June 15, 1996.

Kathryn Gallagher

With a string of sadcore guitar melodies and brutally honest lyrics, Los Angeles and New York City based artist Kathryn Gallagher is most likely to be found on playlists designed to reflect on hard times. Her unique wailing and ‘cry’ vocal techniques lend authenticity in presenting milestone moments that occur on a journey of emotional catharsis. Outliers include the catchy upbeat love song “I’ll Get the Coffee” and the sweetly sentimental track “Nostalgic for the Moment”. She connects with fans in an intimate setting, hosting Instagram live concerts featuring originals and cover songs alike. To promote “Nostalgic”, she created a TikTok challenge for fans to use a section of the song to share their own videos reminiscing on moments of connection and warmth. 

Performing double duty as an actress, Gallagher has been a cast member in two Broadway musicals - LA based theatre company Deaf West’s adaptation of Spring Awakening, and Jagged Little Pill, a jukebox musical using songs from the iconic Alanis Morissette album. Her performance in the latter recently earned her a Tony Award nomination.